Today I’m turning the reins over to A. M. Manay in celebration of the release of her second book in the November Snow series, She Lights Up the Dark. A.M. Manay is a former Oakland teacher who is inspired by her students and her multiracial family to write fiction that includes a multicultural cast of characters. She writes intelligent paranormal fantasy featuring strong women and fascinating villains.
Most people probably don’t think that a vampire novel is a good place to go for examples of compassion or ethical behavior, but I like to think that what I write isn’t your typical vampire novel. I write fun, escapist fantasy, but I like for it to have some redeeming social value and to send some positive messages to my readers. Does that mean my characters don’t make mistakes? Of course not, If they were perfect, they wouldn’t be anything like real people. But what my “good guy” characters do is strive for a better world, even if they make mistakes.
The main character in my series, November, strives to be compassionate and ethical even though the world seems to conspire against her. She is plagued by visions of the past and the future, and she is haunted by the knowledge that she can’t save everyone. Thus, she withdraws from the people around her until one day, she is pulled into the world of supernatural creatures who not only believe her power is real, but also wish to use it for their own ends. This situation occupies much of the first book, She Dies at the End.
On several occasions, November is deeply hurt by the actions of the people around her, but she stands up for herself, refusing to accept mistreatment, and she doesn’t let her own pain and anger deter her from trying to help protect the innocent from harm. She doesn’t let it stop her from having empathy for the powerful and magical creatures she meets, even though their lives are so different from her own. She doesn’t let her pain stop her from having compassion for the suffering of her enemies, either.
It is November’s ability to hold onto her own values even in the midst of suffering that leads to her own salvation. Even though she knows that she is, essentially, doomed, she is able to come to terms with the fact that her destiny is to use her gift to bend the world toward justice, even though there will be mistakes and setbacks.
In the sequel, She Lights Up the Dark, released this week, she fears that she is condemned to become a monster now that she is no longer human. She could choose to give up, to give in, to accept living a life of selfish violence. She could become discouraged by the power of her enemy and accept that she can do nothing to help protect people from him and his plans. That would be by far the easiest path. You will find, if you read my work, that she works to resist this temptation. Instead, she perseveres, even when there are setbacks, even when victory seems impossible, even when she makes mistakes, or when her actions have unintended consequences.
I think that November’s compassion and perseverance are qualities we could all stand to emulate a little more. Take a chance on reading my books, and let me know if you agree. 🙂
Connect with A.M. Manay
- On her website: www.ammanay.net
- On Facebook: facebook.com/ammanaywrites
- On Twitter: @ammanay
- On Instagram: instagram.com/a.m.manay
- On her Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/ammanay
Okay, me again…to get you started in the November Snow universe, let’s do another drawing for She Sees In Her Sleep (a collection of three short stories) and She Dies at the End.